(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
There is a revitalized effort to solve old murder cases that have gone cold, with resources being designated to revisit these cases.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Matthews has indicated that a portion of the funds allocated to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) will be spent on doing so.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie has gone on record as saying, “We are allocating more money to the police this year to assist law enforcement agencies to perform their duties more effectively.”
In relation to their investigative duties, the Commissioner of Police said, "We are also using the resources that we got allocated to us to go back in time and look at other murders that took place over the years, because we know that those offenders are still out there and still feel safe in the knowledge that they haven’t been caught yet. We’re working very, very hard on that."
The Commissioner of Police further related that of the six homicides last year, police managed to make progress on two, as suspects were arrested and charged.
The first murders of last year were Clevaughn Sweeney and Michael Stevens, who were gunned down execution style on February 10.
They were followed by Trumayne Daway, popularly known as Passion, who was found dead in a vehicle in the area of Brandywine Bay after 1:00 am on February 28. Later, twenty-one year-old Maybelline Rodriguez, a native of the Dominican Republic, who resided in Huntums Ghut, was arrested and charged before the court for the murder, along with Vernon Bernard, 26, a native of Dominica, and Rafael Harrigan, 27, a native of the Virgin Islands.
Then, on August 10, Jerry Castro-Felix was fatally shot once to head. Sean Martin, 27, was later arrested, charged, and placed before the court for the murder.
On October 22, 30 year-old Tyrone Thomas of Greenland was shot to his head while his girlfriend was injured at Brady Ghut, East End, just outside their apartment. The murder occurred shortly after they left the Crystal Nightclub in Road Town, at about 4:00 am.
The victim’s business partner, Dee Dijion Hodge was later named as the primary suspect after he found at the scene.
Within 24 hours of that incident, Kareem Ettienne, 24, of Fahie Hill was killed in his bedroom, while his child and other family members were in the house.
There is also the more recent unsolved February 3 murder of Erran Charles in Huntums Ghut.